Did Fashion Strike Out on Its Night Out?
A RetailWire poll in September of last year found
that eighty percent thought the first ever Fashion’s Night was worth the effort.
Only eight percent thought it was a total waste of time.
This year, the event
was even bigger with more retailers and celebrities participating with the
aim of getting people to think about wearing (that means buying) the latest
and greatest on store racks.
While the event certainly generated a lot of press,
numerous reports question whether the event did much for business.
president of Unity Marketing, said, "The FNO (Fashion’s
Night Out) celebrations are essentially preaching to the choir with the same
fashion editors, designers and retailers talking to the same target customers
about things that only interest those in the know about fashion. FNO offers
little to attract those customers not all that into fashion. It is these less
than enthusiastic clothing shoppers that the business needs to attract to give
it a shot in the arm."
A Toronto Star report suggested that the
night was more for those "hellbent
on partying" than spending on clothing and accessories.
Others begged to
"It was a like hybrid of Nuit Blanche, Halloween and Gay Pride," Sarah
Casselman, market editor of Fashion Magazine, told The Star. "There
is a great energy to the city (New York) and it’s bringing people together
While the point of Fashion’s Night Out was to get consumers
to shop in stores, others are looking to expand the reach of Fashion Week events
through the internet. In one case, Burberry added an e-commerce component to
enable consumers to buy items they saw being modeled on the catwalk.
"It’s giving the consumer even more inside access than the buyer
in the front row," James Gardner, founder and chief executive of Createthe
Group, which is working on the runway live streams for Burberry, told The
New York Times. "They’re able to put the product in their
shopping bag, pay with their credit card and check out before the buyer is
even finished watching the show and goes to the showroom the next day."
Gardner added, "The economic challenge has added new focus to this,
and technology and digital has almost become the most important strategic priority
in these companies. The brands are seeing this really resonates with the consumer,
and we see huge spikes in traffic."
Discussion Question: What is your
assessment of Fashion’s Night Out and efforts such as webcasts to broaden the
appeal of high fashion?
- Watching the Catwalk, and Clicking ‘Add to Cart’ – The New
- More gawking than shopping – The Star
- Fashion’s Night Out Needs a Make Over – Unity Marketing